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Subject: Re: Ivy League Admissions

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Date Posted: 08:23:30 07/05/18 Thu
In reply to: An Observer 's message, "Re: Ivy League Admissions" on 07:54:52 07/05/18 Thu

I can only reflect on my, and my son's personal experiences. I interviewed for Princeton until about 10 years ago, and in the final 5 years, I don't think I saw a single relatively weak (by Ivy League standards) applicant. However, that was not in the case in the late 1960s. If you don't have a "hook" (athlete, large parent contribution, or legacy), it is incredibly difficult to gain entrance to any Ivy League School today. Even legacies have a more difficult time. My daughter was admitted to Cornell without a hook, but was turned down by Princeton in spite of being a legacy.

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An Observer
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Date Posted: 10:40:01 07/05/18 Thu

Jerrylh, we are talking about three different eras. In the late 1950s when you were looking at colleges, the percentage of American high school students who went to college *AT ALL* was less than 10%. For almost all college students, the decision where to attend was dictated mostly by geography. Most young people only considered colleges from their region.

The Ivy League universities in the late 1950s drew overwhelmingly from the Northeast. There were still a lot of nice, well bred but thoroughly unremarkable students on campus. Getting into an Ivy League university was not that difficult to do, no offense.

By the 1980s when your son was considering college, the Ivies were much national and international institutions.
Getting in required competing against a mostly national applicant base, though it still skewed to the Northeast. By the 1980s, getting into an Ivy League university was a genuinely selective process, though admission rates were still three or four times higher than they are now.

By the early part of this century, the common application, more generous financial aid and the "dumbed down" re-centered scale had changed the game by dramatically increasing the denominator in the admission rates. In the last decade, we're just seeing the further impact of these same influences.

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